Ultimately, until the code is binding on all new owners/developers and its scope and existence are widely recognized by consumers, its impact on the market will be limited. The proposed changes in the code certainly recognize the need for profiling and, therefore, potential buyers and their advisors (as well as new owners) should expect to become familiar with the code in the near future, particularly in the context of better consumer protection in a general business climate. Booking deposits are essentially payments made by builders/developers as a result of a sale agreement, so that a buyer can “book” the property in question, usually for a period of 28 days, in order to conclude the necessary legal diligence and to be able to exchange contracts. Buyers are usually invited by the owner or his sales team to sign a booking agreement that describes the terms of the booking and always stipulates that the down payment is not refundable if the buyer does not exchange contracts within the agreed time. These fees/deposits can often be quite large, especially at the top of the market, where payments of up to $20,000 are not outrageous, so it is important that the booking agreement be verified by the buyer`s lawyer before being signed. In practice, the majority of buyers tend to only call on their lawyer after the booking contract has been signed. After the buyer has personally participated in discussions about how the RAs can work and the experience as an agent uses it, there must be more accurate information that the buyer can consult before deciding on the offer. Once this decision is made, the RA is essentially a turbo-charged sales memo that clearly defines the agreed terms. This must be subject to a mortgage, a survey and a good title. It must also have a clear arbitration route for both parties in the same way that the TPO now operates.
A final point: the RA should be optional, with both parties agreeing to surpass all elements of an agreement. I would offer a non-refundable booking of 0.5% of the purchase price. There are 4 steps when buying a new property: As booking fees can be significant (up to $20,000 at the top of the market), the agreement for the buyer should be verified by a legal expert before signing it.